The Annual Krebs Lecture by Dr Richard Henderson. Tuesday 24 April 2018.
From Creative Media Email on May 14th, 2018
The Annual Krebs Krebs Lecture
The University welcomed 400 students, staff, alumni and members of the public to the Annual Krebs Lecture on Tuesday 24 April.
The guest speaker for the evening was the 2017 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Dr Richard Henderson, FRS FMedSci. Dr Henderson is a molecular biologist, biophysicist and a pioneer in the field of electron microscopy of biological molecules.
Dr Henderson’s lecture discussed the increasing power of cryoEM for macromolecular structure determination.
In the last few years, single particle electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM) has experienced a quantum leap in its capability, due to improved electron microscopes, better detectors and better software, and this is revolutionising structural biology. Using the technique invented by Jacques Dubochet and his colleagues, a thin film containing a suspension of the macromolecules of interest is plunge-frozen into liquid ethane at liquid nitrogen temperature, creating a frozen sample in which individual images of the structures can be seen in many different orientations. Subsequent computer-based image analysis is used to determine the three-dimensional structure, frequently at near-atomic resolution. Dr Henderson described some recent results and discussed the remaining barriers to progress.
The lecture elucidated that CryoEM is already a very powerful method, but there are still many improvements that can be made before the approach reaches its theoretical limits.